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Lawrence, The Evolution of a Revolt

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Lawrence uses short essay to examine and provide understanding on how he used the Arab’s natural fighting ability, terrain and tribe politics as means to fight the Turks. Instead of fighting from fixed positions or for key terrain, he forced the Turks to focus on Medina and its LOC…and by attacking the LoC, he was able to force the Turks to expend great deal of energy and resources…taking them away from their offensive capability. Also offered the Arab the idea of freedom, able to use each Arab tribe as a ready reserve to follow-up attacks all along the train lines.


The victory was won by the Arabs with British assistance – Lawrence was able to find common interests between the British and the various Arab tribes to unify effort – he became a trusted advisor through cultural understanding and trust.

He acted independently in a flexible manner through building long-term relationships.

Bedouins used their strength (knowledge of the terrain weather, water etc.) and outmaneuvered the more static Turks.

By gaining their trust he could tap into the local population for both info and support.

Lawrence managed to centralize the tribal system and make it work against a common enemy (internally these tribes were in oppositon, but a greater threat focused their attention).

Influenced by Clausewitz;

Also by Corbett; “fleet in being”, attacking Turks LOC with small forces rather than Mahanian decisive engagement.

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